for this month's secret recipe club, i chose something totally out of season, sawsan's apple and cinnamon streusel pizza. sawson blogs over at chef in disguise and when i first saw that she lives in the middle east, i naively thought we couldn't have anything in common. i was so wrong! i have a pretty technical day job and spend a lot of my off hours cooking and being a mom. and so does sawsan. she is an orthodontist by day and self professed "food explorer" - a term which i love, by the way - by night and a mom of two.
this recipe was the perfect way to use up some apples i had hiding out in my refrigerator that had seen better days. spiced up with orange, lemon, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg and blanketed with streusel, these are my kind of apples. it didn't hurt that i added another layer of sweetness with a maple glaze.
for this month's secret recipe club, i didn't follow my normal process when choosing a recipe on lisa's blog, cook lisa cook. instead, i clicked around somewhat haphazardly, reading through her list of recipe tags and clicking on the ones that sounded good. i didn't make it very far down the list, as cookies sucked me in! as soon as i saw these "piggy out cookies" i knew i was going to make them as soon as i saw bacon. i didn't read the rest of the ingredients list until i was making my grocery list later in the week!
i've mentioned before that i'm always on the lookout for new salads to try. i jumped on this one since a box of clementines always finds its way into my shopping cart and each week we always end up throwing a few away. i always have good intentions of eating them all. but just as soon as the weekend is over and monday comes, before i can blink it's already thursday. i breeze through the rest of the week and weekend and soon enough, i'm staring down the last three or four clementines that just didn't make it. while this salad isn't my favorite, it's still light and refreshing and a great way to use up those stragglers.
when i lived in downtown rochester, i ate a lot of lunches and dinners at magnolia's on park avenue. more often than not, my companion and i would share one of their thin crust pizzas and i would always order a bowl of their signature cream of tomato artichoke and cheese soup. i cannot tell you how many people i have turned onto this soup. it's killer.
so good in fact, when i am sick, it's what i crave. in the dead of winter, when it's freezing cold out and we're buried until feet of snow, it's what i crave. so much so there have been a few times since we moved into the burbs that jason has made the 13 mile drive for a bowl of this soup. it's that good.
it's been five and a half years since jason and i spent labor day weekend in chicago, and four and a half since we spent the same weekend in cleveland. while it feels like only yesterday we were in both cities it also feels like a lifetime ago. i can still remember - plain as yesterday - walking into the great lakes brewing company in cleveland and having a drink at the bar while we waited for a table. we sat outside and marveled at the fact that we could do whatever we wanted since no, we didn't have any kids in tow. i don't remember what i had for dinner, but jason still dreams of the pretzel chicken he had.